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Friday, 4 March 2016

US Empire Strikes Back

“Who are the 50 Reasonable Conservatives behind the open letter to Donald Trump?”

Who might this be? He is a fundamentally dishonest, unprincipled, anti-Muslim who supports torturing terrorist suspects, would violate Americans’ civil liberties as president, and likely to advocate and engage in disastrous military adventurism. 

It could have been pretty close to a description of President George W. Bush. But it’s how 50 self-declared “reasonable conservatives” have portrayed the likely next GOP presidential nominee 
Two points about this letter and the list of signatories analysed below: first, that they should consider Donald Trump a complete disaster as future US President/commander in chief is saying something when it comes from a group of 50 Republicans, many of them neo-conservatives who backed war for regime change in Iraq and torture of terror suspects, and one of them who authored the Patriot Act.
Among that group are many who were called “The Crazies” by the-then reasonable conservatives like George HW Bush.

Secondly, there are many members of the so-called centrist Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings, and Aspen Institute members in the list, alongside and overlapping with members, founders of the Project for a New American Century, Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, etc… the hard-core of the warlike neoconservative movement.

The latter point is very significant: it betrays a core unity between the conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, on US global hegemony, supporters of American primacy and militarism, several of whom serve as directors of weapons manufacturers.

This open letter represents the US Foreign Policy Establishment’s rejection of an aggressive warmonger because he’s not in their networks, not part of their elite, and not in their control. The Trump message they reject is the one that brings American power and image into disrepute, and might undermine the programme. It is not a principled rejection of the American militarism, Islamophobia, or national and global surveillance, targeted assassinations.

It is not only Donald Trump who is unprincipled: many of the signatories of the open letter live in glass houses of their own. Here’s a few lines on some of the more notorious reasonable conservatives:

Eliot Cohen: accused Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer of anti-Semitism for daring to criticise the Israel lobby in the US; opposed Chuck Hagel’s appointment to Obama’s secretary of defense as latter opposed military confrontation with Iran; Glenn Greenwald stated Cohen’s as "extremist a neoconservative and warmonger as it gets"; co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that demanded US wage for regime change in Iraq; declared WWIV on Iraq and Iran in 2001

Dov Zakheim: leading PNAC member calling for war on Iraq

David Adesnik: member of the Foreign Policy Initiative the neo-con successor to the Project for a New American Century, the pro-war lobbying organisation whose membership overlapped with the GW Bush administration

Kevin W. Billings: Lockheed Martin

Robert D. Blackwill: NSC member for Iraq 2003; left Bush administration after allegations of physically assaulting a female State Department staffer

Max Boot – warmonger, pro-US empire, America should learn from British imperialism about how they conquered Afghanistan in the 19th century – good luck with that Max

Ellen Bork: PNAC, Foreign Policy Initiative,

Michael Chertoff: co-author of the USA Patriot Act after 9-11, massive attack on US civil liberties; chairs BAE Systems, a global arms manufacturer

Seth Cropsey: neo-con, AEI, PNAC

Tom Donnelly: PNAC, AEI, Lockheed Martin

Eric Edelman: national security adviser to VP Cheney, under Scooter Libby (who was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury, and making false statement regarding the outing of CIA member Valerie Plame

Niall Ferguson: recommended that The US openly become an Empire and learn from Britain’s experience; admirer of Henry Kissinger’s idealism

Jeffrey Gedmin: NED, Weekly Standard

Reuel Marc Gerecht: PNAC, AEI, CIA

Robert Kagan: PNAC, CFR
Michael Rubin: AEI, CFR

Randy Scheunemann: Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member. He was Trent Lott's National Security Aide and was an advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq.

Gary J. Schmitt: executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) from 1998 to 2005. He is now a resident scholar and co-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies

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